The Italian was often a thorn in the side of Newcastle, scoring in multiple derbies against the Black Cats, as well as scoring at St James’ Park for Liverpool.
The rumour came as a shock to many fans, but it fits the pattern of Newcastle transfer targets in recent years.
Played for Sunderland? Sign for Newcastle!
In recent years, we’ve seen plenty of ex Sunderland plays lineup in black and white.
It all started in 2014 when Jack Colback’s contract at the Stadium of Light expired, and he made the short journey to Tyneside. It was a controversial move, and one that has ended with the ginger-haired midfielder out on loan at Nottingham Forest.
Despite a decent debut year, Colback declined, and eventually fell out of favour with manager Rafa Benitez.
Two years later, with Newcastle set to play in the Championship, we signed another pair of former Black Cats. DeAndre Yedlin arrived on the back of a loan spell at Sunderland, while Daryl Murphy boosted Benitez’s forward ranks.
The Irish striker played more than 100 games for Sunderland, but managed just 18 appearances for the Magpies. However, he did score six times so had a decent goal return.
As for Yedlin, he’s still a starter for Newcastle.
In 2017, Javi Manquillo was next to move to St James’ Park after a loan spell down the road. Manquillo struggled on Wearside, and his time on Tyneside has been no different.
Then this summer, Ki Sung-yueng dropped his allegiances to sign for the Toon on a free. The South Korean also had a loan spell at Sunderland, playing a key role in their journey to the League Cup final. In a Newcastle shirt, he’s thriving.
Will Borini be next?
While the fact they’ve played for Sunderland in the past doesn’t matter, their quality does. None of these players were in particularly great Sunderland sides.
Borini was frustrating at Sunderland, often coming up with moments of brilliance when it mattered. However, his overall goal-scoring record was poor, managing 17 goals in 93 appearances.
The 27-year-old does not have the quality Newcastle are looking for, and would only add to an already frustrating forward line.
While some Sunderland players from the past would improve our side, Borini isn’t one of them.